It’s not ‘The Wire’ but at least it’s not ‘Barb Wire’

Which famous former resident will be returning to which famous street from a Central American location shortly?

(Psst, looks like TVNZ shot their load a little early…)

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The lanes, they are a’changing

Auckland is not a cycling town. Turn up to work on a bike, and people assume you ‘flat’ with your parents, and aren’t moving out anytime soon. Auckland’s city councils are trying to push cycling with a network of new cycle ways, but come on – this is Auckland, it’s all Beemers, drive through hairdressers and no stopping at red lights. Lake Road’s cycle lanes have received much negative press from local motorists and Metro, who ask “why does a whole line of traffic have to slow down for one fitness-obsessed rider in terrible pants, with a geeky helmet and scant regard for the road rules?” But what are they like to actually ride on? Saddle up and find out after the jump… Continue reading

Open your own ’80s video shop

Remember video shops? Rewinding, fixing the tracking, due back by 12? As a lad, I’d spend hours in the corner video shop trawling the likes of Joysticks and Brewsters’s Millions to find the perfect tape for that weekend’s slumber party (it was a more innocent time back then, team).

If you ever wondered what happened to the films on those clunky black tapes, and struggle finding them nowadays among 50 copies of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, you’re in luck. Turns out they’re all available on DVD in the Queen Street JB HiFi‘s bargain bin for seven dollars each.

Today’s perusal uncovered sub-Top Gun flick Iron Eagle, featuring Louis Gosset and a kick arse Queen theme tune, Steve Martin’s The Jerk, which was technically made in 1979, but remains a stalwart of ’80s video shops nonetheless, David Cronenberg’s weird-ass Videodrome, which bought James Woods and Debbie Harry together at last, and, um, Streets of Fire. Ahem.

This bin is AMAZING, and if I’m heading past I have to cross the street for fear of enthusiastically emptying my wallet all over it. I picked up Friday the 13th and Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes on one particularly vulnerable day – I blame the “I’m Cheap, Buy Me!” stickers. The stock seems to turn over fairly regularly, and is fully worth a trawl if your self-control is any better than mine.

Shops we adore: Artisan Wine Suppliers

Last time I was in Auckland, I stayed at the Elliot Street Apartments (I’ll be doing a roundup of Auckland hotels in March), which was above the Elliot Street Stables,  a very Europeany food court-ish space, with an assortment of eateries opening up onto central cobblestoned alleys with communal tables. It was a lovely space, with a nice cool breeze and as my sister and I started to eat our way around the world (Italian bruschetta, Morrocan and French sausages), a man with some tiny little plastic cups came up to us, and asked if we wanted to try the wine special of the day. That’s a big hell to the yes, so with a little free chardonnay inside us, we decided to purchase a bottle to drink that night. We found our way to his shop and the joy continued. We asked for something aromatic, kind of Waipara-ish, good for drinking after a hard day and under $25, and Kevin the proprieter didn’t baulk at all. Instead, he asked us if our tastes ran to the turkish delight-ish, which they do, and he promptly recommended two kinds of Gewurztraminer. We took the one from Malborough that we’d never heard of before, and we also gladly accepted his advice to wet towels and hang them in front of the fans in our rooms in order to cool them down. And oh man, that wine was scrumptious and perfect.

It was so delicious, in fact, that when we were waiting the next day for our ride to our wine day out, we went back to thank him for his splendid advice. When we said that we’d buy more except that we were Matakana-bound, he gave us enthusiastic advice about which vineyards we should go to, and which ones were skippable. It was very obvious that they only stock wines that they drink and love. I was also impressed when he gave me his card so that I can email him to find out where I can buy that wine that I loved in Wellington, except that I’ve forgotten its name. Chances are Kevin would remember though. Artisan Wine Suppliers for the win! Such lovely friendly thoughtful service. We’re recommending it to everyone we know.

Northern Busway: Fisking the Herald

For Aucklanders, traffic is big, right up there with property prices and ‘How’s my hair?’. THAT big. So when I moved to the Shore (love makes you do crazy things, team), getting to work weighed heavily on my mind. I mean, Shore traffic is crap, right? The Northern Motorway is one big car park, right? Turns out I was wrong, the Shore is a haven of public transport – but not according to the Herald. Jump to find out why Granny Herald is talking out its delivery bay.

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